A. CAMPAIGN TITLE Cadbury Crisis Management B.

CAMPAIGN SUMMARY On October 3, the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner received complaints about infestation in two bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Cadbury India’s flagship brand with over 70% market share. He ordered an enquiry and went directly to the media with a statement. Over the following 3-week period, resultant adverse media coverage touched close to 1000 clips in print and 120 on TV news channels. In India, where Cadbury is synonymous with chocolate, the company’s reputation and credibility was under intense scrutiny. Sales volumes came down drastically in the first 10 weeks, which was the festival season; retailer stocking and display dropped, employee morale - especially that of the sales team - was shaken. The challenge was to restore confidence in the key stakeholders (consumers, trade and employees, particularly the sales team) and build back credibility for the corporate brand through the same channels (the media) that had questioned it. A focused and intense communications program was implemented over the next six months to rebuild credibility and restore confidence among the key stakeholders. The results: - In media, the key message that infestation was a storage-linked problem, not manufacturing related found , widespread acceptance. Across the board, media carried Cadbury’s point-of-view on the issue. - Sales volumes climbed back to almost to pre-crisis levels eight weeks after the launch of new packaging – a concrete step taken by the company to minimize the incidence of infestation. This reflected consumer confidence in the brand and the company. - There was significant upward movement in ratings amongst consumers on parameters like company’s image, responsiveness of company and behavioral parameters like intention to buy Cadbury chocolates. The last two helped to restore faith in the corporate brand among the trade and employees. C. MARKETING CHALLENGE AND OBJECTIVES On October 3, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner received complaints about infestation in 2 bars of chocolates. He ordered an enquiry and went directly to the media with a statement. Huge media attention and the graphic nature of the coverage resulted in the consumer perception that every bar could be infested. The incident came close on the heels of a cola controversy where a scientific laboratory declared colas unsafe due to high levels of pesticide. The jury was still out on that issue and so this incident acquired political overtones with parties decrying Cadbury as an irresponsible MNC. Andrea DawsonShepherd, Global Corporate Communication Counsel, Cadbury Schweppes called it ‘the worst worm infestation -related crisis anywhere in the world’. The immediate objective was to get the following key messages across: o Infestation could never occur at the manufacturing stage o The problem was storage linked; this without alienating trade channels o Cadbury Dairy Milk continued to be safe for consumption The challenge was to restore confidence in the key stakeholders (trade and employees, particularly salespersons) and build back credibility for the corporate brand through the same channels (the media) that questioned it. D. TARGET MARKETS The problem started in one city, Mumbai, but later spread to other towns in the states of Maharashtra and Kerala. But it became a nationwide crisis since national media covered it. So clearly the first target audience that needed to be addressed was the media - both electronic and print media, national and local. Additionally, two other stakeholder groups were identified. Trade partners, as their confidence was shaken. Finally, as intense media coverage continued, it became important and critical to include the employees , especially salespersons as the third group.

E. media persons and trader partners. that would normally take about six months. o It is safe to eat Cadbury chocolates. In these conferences. o Consumers must exercise the same care in purchasing a chocolate as they would when buying any food item. were reached nationally through a press ad ‘Facts about Cadbury’. Called Project Vishwas (Trust). And this was followed with press conferences in cities worst affected by the crisis . To communicate these significant changes the company was making. media persons were encouraged to compare the old and new packs with an innovative comparison kit and experience the significant changes in packaging first hand. This entailed double wrapping for maximum protection to reducing the possibility of infestation.March 2004) The new ‘purity sealed’ packaging was launched in January 2004. From the beginning. An audio visual with a message from Amitabh Bachchan. independent endorser to rebuild stakeholder confidence. At a second media briefing about two weeks after the first incident was reported. a series of town hall meetings were held with senior managers addressing employees to ensure they were updated on the proactive actions being taken by Cadbury to manage media. STRATEGY It was decided from the start to address the issue head-on and take whatever steps were necessary to restore confidence. Regular email updates from the MD were also used to communicate the company’s point of view and to ensure consistency of messaging since employees are the company’s ambassadors. as he embodied the values of Cadbury as a brand and connected with all of India . From Day 1 every story carried Cadbury’s point of view.reinforcing the company’s commitment to quality. Cadbury announced significant steps to restore consumer confidence.released in 55 publications in 11 languages. the Cadbury’s Managing Director addressed consumer concerns with the following key messages: o Infestation is a storage linked problem. and consumers. A media conference was organized in Mumbai to launch the new packaging. Given that much . An Editorial Outreach program with 31 media editors across 5 most affected cities was orchestrated by the agency to get senior Cadbury spokespeople to share their version of events in one-on-one meetings. the company began to cultivate relationships with the media and turn it into an ally and a credible. - - The trade. Having historically maintained a low profile with the media and let its brands and its performance speak for it. a legendary Indian film star. At the first media briefingorganised by the agency. The trade was supported with posters and leaflets to help them share Cadbury point-of-view with their customers. This was a big step involving investment of millions of dollars and getting on stream a production process in 8 weeks. Phase 2: Packaging change (January. help trade and ensure future occurrences of such incidents were kept to the minimum. It presented facts about Cadbury manufacturing and storage and highlighted corrective steps being taken by the company. children. This was a public statement of the corporate stand on the issue. A response cell with a toll free number and an e-mail id were put in place to give trade a means to directly contact the company with any issues they faced. the agency set up a media desk to ensure that no media query went unanswered. was beamed to build credibility and excitement.mothers. was chosen. this entailed: o A retail monitoring and education program undertaken on a war footing to address storage problems o Significant packaging changes to ‘reduce dependency on storage conditions as much as possible’ – to be launched within two months.Pune and Nagpur in Maharashtra and Cochin in Kerala. Amitabh Bachchan. Phase 1: Presenting Cadbury’s view (October-December 2003) The day the crisis broke. teenagers. Cadbury brought in a brand ambassador to reinforce the credibility that the company had demonstrated through its actions.

Another audio visual with a message from the star was used in a series of sales conference s to enthuse and reassure salespersons. The announcement of the new pack was done through a testimonial advertisement on TV called ‘Sincerity’. the media’s positive coverage and the trade’s positive pre-disposition played a huge part in helping Cadbury regain its reputation in the market. senior Cadbury spokespersons had one-on-ones with the Editors of the Outreach program initiated in November 2003. the agency helped Cadbury get a total of 378 clips in over 11 languages covering the new packaging.Bad news automatically gets great coverage. within 8 weeks of introduction of new packaging and communication. It consciously addressed the problem head-on. all media reports carried the Cadbury’s point-of-view. CAMPAIGN RESULTS AND MEASUREMENT • Media Coverage: The media relationship effort clearly helped in making media accept that the infestation was genuinely caused by storage-linked problems. a video news release with packaging shots and factory shots was given to television channels to control the visual messaging. • Sales : Sales volumes. with the superstar talking straight into camera about how before doing the ad he first convinced himself about the quality of Cadbury chocolates by visiting the factory. in January 2004. Simultaneously. Consumers respected the brand for not skirting the issue but acknowledging it and giving a solution to the problem This was Public Relations using a TV Commercial to get key messages across! F. . However.of the damage had come from television coverage. The Business Today clip is a typical representation of the changed media perception and a better understanding of the problem over a three month period. This is a clear reflection of restoration of consumer and hence trade confidence in the corporate brand. responsiveness of company and behavioral parameters like intention to buy Cadbury chocolates. From the start. And this helped to rebuild confidence in the salespersons to go and sell the product more convincingly and confidently to the trade. climbed back almost to the pre-incident levels by week. which declined drastically between week 1 and week 10 of crisis. While the new product introduction and advertising had their role to play in the changing consumer perceptions. and its benefits. • Image : There was significant upward movement in ratings amongst consumers on parameters like company image.

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